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Pizziconi, Barbara (2024) 'Im/politeness research – what it says on the tin? (Not quite).' Journal of Politeness Research: Language Behaviour Culture, 20 (1). pp. 135-156.

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Several decades of analytical inquiry into linguistic im/politeness have produced a substantial body of research shedding light on its linguistic and social dimensions, but also distinct discursive conventions and terminology. This study turns the spotlight on im/politeness as the term of choice for researchers to think and talk about a rather broad range of social meanings and considers the pros and cons of this preferred denotation. I argue that while the term has undoubtedly scaffolded the development of a coherent field of enquiry, its continued use as a moniker, despite shifting concerns and broadening perspectives, may becloud our views too. The field’s trajectory of development is revisited by likening it to a process of register formation, in which the term im/politeness has accrued differential (and stereotypical) indexicalities for different groups, in a diverse, multicultural community of scholars with different research agendas. Our differential allegiances to a particular taxonomy arguably engender different ways of seeing, and the increasing complexity of the field demands that we continue to interrogate and justify the labels we use.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: im/politeness terminology; enregisterment; relational language; proto-type; stereotypes
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
ISSN: 16134877
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2024 10:07

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